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Lebanese Politics: Feast in a Time of War

THE LEVANT – By Alexey Sarabyev  – In Lebanon, fighting continues in Tripoli. Currently all indications are that this is just another instance of restoring order to the chaotic city, a battle with insurgents and terrorists. As always, the Lebanese army and militants are in opposition, and the population itself of …

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Cracking down on ISIL elements in Lebanon

THE LEVANT – The Lebanese army has carried out raids in the northern city of Tripoli, searching homes of individuals with alleged links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other groups. Clashes erupted during the arrest of at least one suspect as the army raided …

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Hassan Nasrallah offers insight into US war on terror

THE LEVANT – Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the charismatic and powerful Secretary General of the Hezbollah, confirmed that he personally visited the Bekaa recently and “walked several kilometers on foot, between military positions”. Here are is a quick translation of some of the most important comments Nasrallah made in which he …

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“My Syrian brother, you are welcome in Lebanon”: Activists meet discrimination against refugees with solidarity

THE LEVANT – Insults, attacks and curfews have become commonplace experiences for some Syrian war refugees in Lebanon, with rights watchdogs saying the community faces growing discrimination. In many parts of the country, it is no longer unusual to see posters prohibiting “foreigners” – understood to mean Syrians – from …

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Iran to help Lebanon fight extremism

THE LEVANT – Iran will supply the Lebanese army with military equipment to be used in fighting Muslim extremist groups, a visiting senior Iranian official said on Tuesday. The announcement marks the first time that Iran has said it would give Lebanon military assistance. Tehran has offered help in the …

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Lebanon – Who killed Sergeant Ali Al Sayed?

THE LEVANT – The identity of the man who beheaded Lebanese Army officer, Sgt. ‘Ali Al-Sayed, has been revealed by the Lebanese Government. According to sources in Lebanon: Jabhat Al-Nusra member, ‘Umar Al-Makati of the ‘Akkar District in the Lebanese province of Tripoli, was the man identified as Sgt. Al-Sayed’s …

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Brothers against Brothers

THE LEVANT  -Syrian refugee Ibrahim Abbas Ali and his family awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of gunfire outside their tent in Lebanon, and for a second time they raced off into the fields, fleeing a war that now seems to have followed them across the …

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Lebanon struggles over captive troops crisis

THE LEVANT – Lebanon’s government is forming a crisis committee to handle the case of some two dozen members of the security forces held captive by Syrian militants amid escalating criticism over the authorities’ response to the hostage affair, an official said Thursday. Information Minister Ramzi Jreij said Prime Minister …

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Lebanon’s arm deals

THE LEVANT – France and Saudi Arabia are close to signing a $3 billion arms deal for Lebanon, the Elysee Palace said Monday following talks between President Francois Hollande and the Saudi crown prince. “It will not be signed Monday but it is being finalized,” an aide to the president …

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5 Lebanese troops are freed

THE LEVANT – An al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebel group has released five members of the Lebanese security forces captured earlier this month in a cross-border raid, Lebanon’s military said Sunday. The men were taken hostage when militants from Syria took over the Lebanese border town of Arsal for five days before withdrawing …

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Lebanese soldier is beheaded by ISIL

THE LEVANT – Protesters blocked several roads Thursday in the Akkar town of Halba over unconfirmed reports that the ruthless Islamic State jihadist group has beheaded a captive Lebanese soldier called Ali al-Sayyed. Earlier, an alleged IS militant calling himself Abu Musaab Hafid al-Baghdadi posted pictures on his Twitter account that …

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US delivers military aid to Lebanon

THE LEVANT –  The United States has delivered its first emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon, officials said Friday, to help bolster military forces as part of a broader regional response to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists. The delivery is in response to a request by the …

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Lebanon issues warrants for two Syrians on terror charges in Arsal attack

THE LEVANT –  A Lebanese judge Thursday issued arrest warrants for two Syrian nationals, including the alleged ISIS commander whose apprehension by the Lebanese Army ignited gun-battles in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier in August. Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein issued arrest warrants for Imad Ahmad Jomaa, accused of being ISIS commander in Syria’s Qalamoun region, and Ahmad …

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Breaking News – Lebanon goes to war

THE LEVANT –  Education Minister Elias Bou Saab said Thursday Lebanon was in a state of war with thousands of militants who have infiltrated the country’s border with Syria. “The situation in Arsal is the most dangerous case and the gunmen, estimated in their thousands, have crossed the border into [Lebanon]. They are well trained and well-armed,” …

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Hezbollah takes out Jihadist heavy weight in Syria

THE LEVANT – Fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah have killed a top jihadist from the Islamic State group in Syria who allegedly planned bloody attacks in Lebanon, a monitoring group said on Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Hezbollah fighters had killed Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi in the Qalamun region …

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Hassan Nasrallah – Hezbollah will claim victory over chaos

THE LEVANT – [embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1v4OEsG” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/o1MLnCRiKoo?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=o1MLnCRiKoo&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5369″ /]   Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stated on Friday that Lebanon is facing an existential threat by ISIL and the countries backing it, yet stressed that this threat can be confronted and defeated with deed. In a televised …

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Nasrallah: Battles would have reached Beirut if Hezbollah had not intervened in Syria

THE LEVANT – Al-Akhbar conducted an exclusive six-hour-long interview with Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. In a multi-part series published over the last two days, journalists Ibrahim al-Amin, Wafic Qanso, Hassan Ileik and Maha Zureikat sat down with the party’s leader, where he discussed in detail issues ranging from Syria, ISIS, the …

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43 Jihadists are charged in Lebanon

THE LEVANT – On Thursday Lebanon charged 43 jihadists, including Islamist militant commander Imad Jomaa, over gun-battles with the Lebanese Army in the northeastern border town of Arsal. The charges were brought against the suspects by Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr, who accused them of carrying out terrorist acts, attacking the Lebanese …

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Bassil: ISIL and Israel control region

Source: Gulf News –   Concerned but optimistic, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, pleaded with the international community to aid the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to confront terrorism. Bassil, who holds a civil engineering degree from the American University of Beirut and who previously served as Minister of Communications and …

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Violence in Arsal escalates

THE LEVANT – Fierce clashes between the army and armed groups in the eastern border region of Arsal continued into a second day on Sunday as troops sought to regain control of areas seized by the gunmen. “Violent gunbattles broke out between the army and armed men near the municipal building …

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Qabbani calls for jihad to liberate Palestine

THE LEVANT-  Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani used his Eid al-Fitr sermon to call for “jihad” to liberate “Palestine’s sacred land from Jewish foreign occupation.” Jihad “is the duty of each and every one of you no matter how much sacrifices are made,” he said, while deploring Arab weakness and apathy in …

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Lebanon – Tripoli sees flare up in violence

THE LEVANT – Clashes erupted overnight on Saturday between the army and masked gunmen in the northern city of Tripoli, reported the National News Agency on Sunday. It said that fierce fighting broke out when gunmen opened fire at army positions on Syria Street, the Starco, Brad al-Bisar, al-Ghoraba, Talaat …

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Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq

Lebanese Officials say a commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was killed in Iraq.The  officials, close to the Shiite Hezbollah, say Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj was killed during the past week while on a “jihadi mission” without providing further details.It is the first known Hezbollah death in Iraq since Sunni …

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Lebanon: ISIS, Israel have committed ‘war crimes’

 Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil Friday condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza, and ISIS’ against Iraq’s Christians, as “war crimes,” saying that the government has approved the ministry’s request to the ICC to launch probes into the recent events. For the first time in its diplomatic history, Lebanon sent requests to the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to …

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A southern front with Israel? Not for the moment

Justin Salhani for The Daily Star –  Despite Hezbollah’s recent reconciliation with Hamas, the party is currently unlikely to mobilize against Israel over its ongoing offensive aimed at crushing the Islamist group in Gaza, analysts said Tuesday, with most generally agreeing that any intervention rests on how things go on the ground. “A full …

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